• Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew (South Yarra)

Marcelo Tummino’s new Chapel Street venture is already popular.  I was invited to try it and arriving at 7pm, a week following its launch, I found it already abuzz with patrons guzzling down its boutique beers on tap and tucking into its tasty specialties of burgers and chips.   The story of Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew began in Fitzroy with the opening of the Brunswick Street restaurant in 2012.  It’s now successfully catering to those on the other side of the river.  But what you would expect from a renowned restaurateur like Tummino, also known for bringing us The European and my personal uni favourite, Animal Orchestra?

Entering 560 Chapel Street, formerly Café Greco, I was hit by a lively vibe and cool, America-meets-Melbourne atmosphere.  The space is huge, looking even more so with the back mirrors. Lighting enthusiasts can get existed by the display, back-lit meat grinders, caged hanging lights, over-head lights….over eight different types on show.  The fridges house the kegs of craft brews.  There are fifteen on tap.  Diners can sit in the red, comfy booth seats, or at the back tables.

Burgers, of course, are their domain and there are two veggie ones on the menu; the Magic Mushie and the Bean Around.  Chips and onion rings were also ordered with ketchup, mustard mayo and blue cheese sauce.

The Magic Mushie was my preferred.  The patty was made with two mushrooms sandwiching cheese.  This had been crumbed and then fried, very similar to the US’ Shake Shack, except creamy goats cheese was used instead of cheddar (stopping the scary experience of being squirted with hot cheese on the first bite).  It somehow seemed healthy with grilled capsicum and fresh baby spinach leaves.  The bread was a bit dry but this was balanced out by the other ingredients.

The Bean Around was made with a patty of mung and kidney beans, holding interesting flavours.  It was paste-like in texture and accompanied by grated carrot, spinach and hummus.

The chips were beautifully soft and fluffy inside, but a little less crunchy than my liking. The onion rings were super crunchy, battered and fried.  I really liked the mustard mayo as a sauce.  The blue cheese was also enjoyable.

To wash down all the good stuff, I liked the sound of La Sirene, Belgian Praelene.  My favourite beers are Belgian and anything nutty is always good, at least thtat was my reasoning.  It was completely different to expected – more like a light beer infused with chocolate.  It was like a creamy, alcoholic milkshake.

Dessert is a single option which changes.  Today was double chocolate “pie” (adopting the American word for “tart”).  It was rich like a thick ganache and tasted spiced.  The pastry was buttery and crumbly, but perhaps a tad under-cooked.

I really enjoyed the experience of Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew.  It was like stepping into an American diner without all the awkwardness of the USA’s cultural over-attentive customer service and customer-to-customer small talk.  It would be a good spot for a big group dinner and drinks on a festive night.  Next time, I will stick to the Magic Mushie, and try another of the amazing beers on tap.

Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew
560 Chapel Street
South Yarra 3141
03 9041 1393

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